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Gareth Bale hat trick leads Real Madrid to big win (video)

Nov 30, 2013, 7:08 PM EDT

Real Madrid CF v Juventus - UEFA Champions League Getty Images

The narrative writes itself on this one, as Gareth Bale provided a hat trick in his latest opportunity to ease the pain of Cristiano Ronaldo’s injury.

But let’s not get carried away. Saturday’s La Liga win was a romp-and-stomp over defenseless and overmatched Real Valladolid. All credit to Bale for finding the gaps – but they were vast.

He will have tougher nights, for sure. His threesome Saturday at the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu included an uncontested header, an uncontested put-away from about eight yards and a little close-range finish as he was allowed to gallop free in the 18.

(MORE: Thigh injury sidelines Cristiano Ronaldo)

So, while Ronaldo and his Russian model girlfriend Irina Shayk watched from the stands in Madrid, Bale became only the second British player to record a hat-trick in La Liga action since Gary Lineker did so in 1987.

Bale, last year’s pride of Tottenham, of course, now has seven goals in La Liga matches and another pair in Champions League competition.

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